Medieval studies

The intensive, real time course is an online adaptation of the previous, in situ, SUN Latin and Greek Codicology and Palaeography summer schools. The one-week course (6 July - 10 July 2020) combines practical palaeography instruction with tuition in textual criticism, codicology and diplomatics. All classes are fully interactive using Zoom. It is aimed at PhD and MA students and young researchers and provides and opportunity to build research network. Deadline for application is 8 June.

Course date

6 July - 10 July, 2020
Application is closed.
Course Director(s): 

Anna Somfai

Visiting Professor, Medieval Studies Department, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; London International Palaeography Summer School, CEU Summer School in Medieval Codicology and Palaeography
Course Faculty: 

Katalin Szende

Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Laura Franco

The Hellenic Institute, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom; London International Palaeography Summer School

András Németh

Curator of Greek Manuscripts, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Italy; Winter School of Greek Palaeography, Rome, Italy

Anna Somfai

Visiting Professor, Medieval Studies Department, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; London International Palaeography Summer School, CEU Summer School in Medieval Codicology and Palaeography
Course Coordinator: 

Sanja Miljan

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Course description

The Summer School is an intensive, real time (CET), fully interactive online course. It comprises two morning sessions and one afternoon session. With a focus on intensive Latin and Greek palaeography classes in parallel tracks, it also provides instruction in textual criticism and diplomatics. It includes thematic lectures, assignments, introduction to online resources, a palaeography exam and an opportunity for consultation. It gives a certificate of attendance and ECTS credits.

Aim of the course

The aim of the Summer School is to provide practical training at beginner and advanced levels in Latin and Greek palaeography combined with an introduction to codicology and practical assignments of textual criticism and diplomatics. While the intensive palaeography seminars focus on the skills of reading, transcribing and dating Latin and Greek manuscript hands, the lectures on codicology and diplomatics provide insights into the new developments in the study of medieval book and document production. Information about online resources and discussion of interactive tools bring students up-to-date with online developments. The Summer School gives an opportunity for students to meet others with similar research interest, exchange ideas and build network.

Rationale for the course

Medieval manuscript books are the physical objects that transmitted classical and medieval texts and images. They are the basis for our modern printed editions and we rely on them for our understanding of our literate past. Charters, accounts and other archival documents were products of pragmatic literacy. These two groups together form the bulk of the written heritage of the Middle Ages. Their study requires specialised knowledge covered by the fields of palaeography, codicology and diplomatics. The current digitisation projects, encouraged internationally, give an excellent opportunity for the dissemination of the manuscript material worldwide. But without proper training in manuscript studies and palaeography, scholars of the next generation will not be able to make use of the material whether in the original or in digital form.

Structure of the course


One week (five days), a total of 15 90-minute sessions of lectures, seminars, and consultation with time left for the assignments to work on. In addition, an afternoon session ahead of the course provides an opportunity for faculty and students to meet informally in the virtual space as well as ask any question that might arise concerning the course.


The intensive Latin and Greek palaeography classes run in four options.
Track 1: Beginner Latin palaeography.
Track 2: Advanced Latin palaeography.
Track 3: Beginner Greek palaeography.
Track 4: Advanced Greek palaeography.

Course schedule

The course includes intensive Latin and Greek practical palaeography seminars, textual criticism instruction, practical assignments of textual criticism and diplomatics, lectures on codicology and diplomatics, introduction to online resources and opportunity for consultation. The intensive practical palaeography seminars will run in four parallel sessions: beginner and advanced options for both Latin and Greek. The other sessions bring together the participants of the parallel tracks.

Assessment of participants’ performance

A practical palaeography test on the last day and textual criticism and diplomatics assignments to be handed in on the penultimate day will serve as the basis for issuing the certificate of attendance.

Individual/small group consultation

The optional consultation will facilitate students with the opportunity to discuss individual research and specific questions with various faculty members.

Informal introduction

The session is scheduled for the Friday afternoon (2-4pm) prior to the week of the course. Its main purpose is to facilitate an informal meeting of faculty and students. In the absence of meeting personally, the virtual tea room will act as a space within which each participant can briefly introduce themselves so everyone can put names to faces and have some idea of the research interest and background of the others. Question concerning the content and technical details of the course can also be discussed.

E-learning site

Course participants will be able to access information and documents uploaded by faculty to help the preparation and the ongoing coursework. It will also serve as a forum for students to post material.
The course awards 1 ECTS credit.

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